ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: JENNYFER GOUNÉ – THE FIRST WEEK OF BLOCK II

One Down, One To Go.

Like many Goizueta One Year MBA’s, I was feeling a sense of accomplishment, pride, relief, and excitement after finishing Block I exams. I was rejuvenated and believed Block II would be a piece of cake! After all, if I could handle the amount of coursework and activities during Block I, I knew I could get through another one easily…

…I later discovered I was wrong.

In Block I, the One Year MBA class learned about operations, economics, organizations and strategy, and statistics. In addition to the coursework, we took a class trip to UPS, attended weekly KEGS nights on Friday, and participated in the usual impromptu social outings. Moreover, as a member of the One Year Advisory Council and the Consortium, my schedule included a trip to Austin, TX and many other Consortium calls and Advisory Council meetings that took place outside of the standard activities.

One-Year Advisory Council Dinner

In the middle of the first week in Block II, I was preparing for the first advisory council dinner hosted by Katie Lloyd, the Senior Director of One year MBA Admissions, at her home. During the dinner meeting we discussed our perspectives on the admissions process, on-boarding process, and the current summer experience. The dinner session was extremely productive and in large part due to the support from the MBA program office and Associate Dean Brian. They encouraged our feedback and were eager to incorporate our recommendations in real-time. To top it off, we got to try Katie’s homemade blueberry crumble and brownies!

Kids II

The next day in our marketing management class we took a “field trip” to Kids II, a baby toy and gear company located in Buckhead, to learn about marketing insights. The consumer insights team at Kids II was a fantastic host and the highlights of the day included learning the ins and outs of strategy and insights, working in groups to present a brand launch recommendation, and trying out the slide (shown in the photo below)!

We started the day learning about Kids II and their target customers. After learning about how they segment their customer base, we broke into sub-teams and were tasked with planning the marketing strategy to launch one of their brands. We had a limited amount of time to brainstorm and develop a solution and were soon presenting our strategies to the analytics and insights team.


Ended the day with a class photo (and a ride down the slide behind us)!

 

Fort Benning Leadership Reaction Course

  • Photo credit: Ann Borden, Emory Photo/Video

After the Kids II visit, accounting class, and KEGS, I was exhausted and the week still wasn’t over for us yet…

The next morning at 6:30am, we departed on a bus to Fort Benning to partake in an all-day long leadership building activity. It was called the Leadership Reaction Course and was led by Associate Dean Keen (pictured above), a retired Lieutenant General who now serves as Goizueta Associate Dean of Leadership Development.

When we arrived at Fort Benning, we were introduced to the military officers and Goizueta alumni who were facilitating the course for the day and briefed on the rules for tackling each challenge. We were forewarned that we would likely get wet that day and were provided with gloves and helmets for safety. The leadership reaction course was extremely challenging, however, my team successfully completed the first three courses, which really helped motivate us for the remainder of the day. After each course we performed an “after action review” where we discussed the things that we did well and those we could improve upon, which really helped up in grow for our next task.

We took a lunch break and departed to the cafeteria on base where we witnessed just how quickly Cadet’s in Officer Candidate School (OCS) eat their meals. After lunch, we completed additional challenges on the reaction course and later debriefed as a group about our learnings. The day overall was long, but was probably the most memorable experience I’ve had at Goizueta to date.



By and large Block II was definitely a whirlwind. However, despite the rigor and exhaustion from the week’s activities, I can confidently say that I’ve learned so much already and can’t wait to experience the adventures to come!